We’re currently facilitating a customized version of The Extraordinary Leader development sessions with hundreds of supervisors and managers in an organization using just self-assessments. Executives in this company had very negative past experiences with using 360 feedback assessments. They agreed that those experiences came from the all too common weaknesses-based approach grounding most 360 feedback tools used today.
As Joe Folkman outlined in his recent Forbes column, Workplace Feedback: A Puzzle? A Punishment? Or a Gift? the experiences of these executives with feedback sounded like a combination of a punishment and puzzle. So we agreed to proceed with using only self-assessment as a first step in a multi-year leadership development process.
During this first workshop series participants are introduced to the revolutionary power of using a strengths-based approach. We’re also discussing Zenger Folkman’s research showing that self-assessment is only half as accurate as assessment from others. And we look at how difficult it is to locate and magnify our leadership strengths unless we get feedback on what those strengths are perceived to be. In leading and influencing others, perception is all there is.
At the end of each modified Extraordinary Leader workshop executives have asked us to poll participants on whether they’d now like to get 360 feedback on their leadership. So far, over 90% have voted in favor of getting this very valuable gift for their leadership development.
As Joe explains in Workplace Feedback: A Puzzle? A Punishment? Or a Gift?:
“We all need feedback to be successful. We’re like a GPS: With only one satellite, the GPS can’t predict your location. With only self-insight to rely upon, you can’t be sure if you’re ‘in line to become the Janitor or the CEO.’ An accurate location requires 3-4 satellites — in career terms, an accurate understanding requires feedback from managers, peers, colleagues, direct reports, and others.“